(This review contains moderate spoilers.)
Twilight is the debut novel by Stephenie Meyer. It's about someone who falls in love with a vampire.
If you want to be dazzled by purple prose, or read up on the sordid details of what vampires get up to, you'll find Twilight disappointing. If, on the other hand, you just want to read about gushy teenage love, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by how charming it is.
The narrator, Bella, is the kind of person who just wants to please others. Naturally, such a meek character is drawn towards a more dominant individual. Meet Edward, an overprotective, stalking control freak who more often than not just plain tells her what to do. While I can sympathise with someone wanting a protective partner to look after her, it's a shame that most of the story happens to the passive narrator rather than being caused by her. Even the story's climactic decision is made by Edward rather than Bella.
Although Twilight has vampires in it, it's not a horror novel. It's a tale of forbidden love, and focuses squarely on the romance. The vampires in question are mostly the kind who don't actually eat people so much as give piggyback rides and exhibit shining examples of chivalry while looking like models. While both the romance genre and the vampire theme are well trod literary paths, Meyer combines the two in order to look at familiar mythology from a refreshingly new angle. You may just see vampires in a new light.
Inner conflict, the state of being torn between two equally compelling or repulsive actions, is a significant driving force behind many of the best stories. Someone having strong urges, but fighting them in order to save someone he loves, is a perfect example of inner conflict, and it's the main reason this story is so gripping. The other reason is the thriller style withholding of information for most of the story, subtly hinting at things in little snippets, although this would have worked better if you could have somehow read the book without knowing what it was about, which seems impossible given its popularity.
For all its oldfashioned values, Twilight has enough intrigue, inner conflict, and heartwarming, sappy romance to be fun and interesting throughout. I'd recommend it to any fan of romantic stories.